Customers have it hard. They want to purchase goods and services to their hearts content but, sometimes, businesses don’t necessarily know how to give them precisely what they want. So, they become frustrated. Shy, even.
Meanwhile, business owners everywhere are incessantly insisting that they “Buy! Buy! Buy!” yelling at them and eagerly awaiting for them to spill their coffers of money into their cold, dead arms.
At least, from a customer’s perspective, that’s what it looks like: Businesses only want our money. They don’t care about us.
But we also know that that’s not necessarily true; there is substance beyond that vapid, emotionless store window that invites customers to simply ‘purchase’. There are business owners who are friendly and generous with their time, willing to get to know anyone that is interested in listening. Customers like that.
Which is why it’s important for all business owners to stop viewing their companies as simply businesses but instead through the perspective of their customers.
The most obvious question you should be asking yourself is, what can do my products or services do for my customers? To answer that, put yourself in their shoes. Start by looking at your own services and finding ways in which they help your customers. Find out what the least useful aspects of your business are and improve upon them in order to create products and services that your customers want and need.
Then, figure out how you can market those services or products by placing yourself into the shoes of your target market and (trying) to better determine how those services would fit into their lifestyles.
2. Be Charming
Some of your customers are undoubtedly jerks. You hate dealing with them, they’re miserable and, in turn, any interactions with them also make them pretty miserable.
On the other hand, there are your friendly and perpetually happy customers that uplift you and go out of their way to make sure that you are in no way inconvenienced by them.
But regardless of whether or not any particular customer is your happiest or your most reprehensible, being a warm and inviting business person will, in almost any case, be beneficial to your business. People will remember and be much more eager to purchase from the fun business owner than the one that would be much better suited residing over a treasure chest under a bridge. I’ve talked about how social media is helping businesses do this. You should be making a concerted effort to help make your business more open on its premises, too.
3. Give Them Free Swag
People like to be recognized, rewarded even. In this lonely, desolate world, having somebody ask you “Hey, how’s it going?” is probably one of the easiest ways to instantly feel wanted or welcome.
But what about those customers that are frequently in your store that always feel welcome?
In those cases, you have to reward them not simply through conversation, but through other means as well. Give them free desserts for being a loyal customer. Or free maintenance for continually bringing their car in. Like I’ve said before, referral programs can have huge, lasting impacts on businesses that use them effectively. Free stuff is cool.
Obviously, though, it’s difficult to objectively place yourself into your customers shoes. There are some caveats, like appealing to your business’s best interests, which customers are rarely interested in. And, of course, there’s that looming necessity called well, you know, money.
But find a way to strike that balance between businessperson and peopleperson, because people can trust a person a lot more than they can trust the hallow shell of a business.